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FLAVOR AND BENZENE 
HEXACHLORIDE CONTENT 



OF PEANUTS 



GROWN IN ROTATION 

WITH COTTON, 

DUSTED WITH INSECTICIDES 

CONTAINING 

BENZENE HEXACHLORIDE 



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U.S 



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CIRCULAR No. 952 

DECEMBER 1954 



HOWARD REYNOLDS 
GLADYS L. GILPIN, and 
IRWIN HORNSTEIN 



U. S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 



CONTENTS 



Page 

Introduction 1 

Materials: 2 

1950 samples 2 

1951 samples 2 

1952 samples 3 

Methods : 4 

Preparation of samples 4 

Palatability studies 4 

Ratings by Panel A 4 

Ratings by Panel B 6 



Page 
Methods — Continued 

Determination of benzene 

hexachloride content 7 

Results : 7 

Palatability studies 7 

Benzene hexachloride content- 18 

Discussion 21 

Summary 24 

Literature cited 25 



^ ^^^ ^ ^^^ ^ ^ 



For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U. S. Government Printing Office 
Washington, 25, D. C. - Price 15 cents 



Flavor and Benzene Hexachloride Content 
of Peanuts Grown in Rotation With 
Cotton Dusted With Insecticides 
Containing Benzene Hexachloride 

By Howard Reynolds and Gladys L. Gilpin, Human Nutrition Research 
Branch, and Irwin Hornstein, Entomology Research Branch, Agricultural 
Research Service x 

INTRODUCTION 

Studies previously carried out in the United States Department of 
Agriculture have shown that the direct application of benzene hexa- 
chloride (BHC), either as the technical grade or as lindane, to soils in 
which peanuts are to be grown may result in definitely off-flavored 
products (7, ll). 2 On the basis of these findings and in view of the 
fact that BHC had already been implicated as causing off-flavors in 
several products, notably potatoes, the Bureau of Entomology and 
Plant Quarantine has recommended that neither technical BHC nor 
lindane be applied directly to the soil in which peanuts are to be 
planted in the season of application or in which they are already 
growing. However, left unanswered was the further question as to 
whether soils previously planted with cotton that was dusted or 
sprayed with BHC might contain sufficient residues of the insecticide 
to result in off-flavors in peanuts grown in rotation with the cotton. 
The importance of this question was emphasized in 1947 and 1948 
when a number of commercial processors reported the occurrence of 
undesirable off-flavors in peanut butter and candies made with some 
lots of peanuts. 

To obtain information on the possibility that off-flavors may de- 
velop in peanuts that follow BHC-treated cotton, cooperative studies 
were initiated by the Production and Marketing Administration, the 
Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine, the Bureau of Plant 
Industry, Soils, and Agricultural Engineering, and the Bureau of 
Human Nutrition and Home Economics of the United States Depart - 

1 The authors are indebted to the Agricultural Marketing Service for financial 
assistance in obtaining the 1950 peanut and soil samples and to the Entomology 
Research Branch for their collection; to Fred W. Poos and Lorin C. Fife, Ento- 
mology Research Branch, for supplying the 1951 and 1952 peanut and soil samples; 
and to Robert D. Chisholm and Louis Koblitsky, Entomology Research Branch, 
for preparing the soil samples for analysis. They are indebted also to Victor R. 
Boswell and staff, Horticultural Crops Research Branch, for preparing the pean- 
nut butter and to the following members of the Human Nutrition Research 
Branch: Elsie H. Dawson for advice on planning the palatability studies; Eleanor 
L. Geissenhainer and Ruth A. Redstrom for assistance in carrying out the palata- 
bility studies; and Albert B. Parks and Elsie F. Dochterman for statistical designs 
and analysis of the data. 

2 Italic figures in parentheses refer to Literature Cited, p. 25. 



2 CIRCULAR 952, U. S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 

ment of Agriculture. 3 In these studies, carried out over a period of 

3 years, palat ability evaluations and chemical analyses for BHC were 
made on peanuts that followed BHC-treated cotton, both on com- 
mercial fields and on experimental plots of known history with respect 
to prior exposure to insecticides. Soil samples, taken from plots and 
fields in which the peanuts grew, were also chemically assayed for 
BHC residues. 

MATERIALS 

1950 Samples 

Peanuts. — Eighty-two samples of peanuts were collected in 1950 
by the Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine from fields pre- 
viously planted to cotton and located in four of the principal cotton- 
producing areas. The samples included Spanish from Georgia, Run- 
ner from Georgia and Alabama, and Virginia Bunch from North 
Carolina and South Carolina. These are referred to in this publica- 
tion as ''commercial samples." Samples of the peanuts grown on 
fields reported as previously used for cotton dusted with a BHC 
insecticide are designated as "treated," and those grown on fields not 
so used as "untreated." The standard 3-5-40 dust used contained 
3 percent of the gamma isomer of BHC (present as approximately 23 
percent of 13 percent gamma technical BHC), 5 percent of DDT, and 
40 percent of sulfur and was applied directly to the cotton plants. 
The approximate percentage isomeric composition of the technical 
BHC was: Gamma, 13; alpha, 65; beta, 10; and delta, 9; with 3 
percent of other chlorinated materials. Dustings varied widely as to 
amount and frequency of application. 

In addition to the commercial samples, the Department supplied 
its own control samples: Spanish from Texas, Runner from Alabama, 
and Virginia Bunch from Virginia, grown cooperatively by State 
agricultural experiment stations under standard conditions in soils 
known to have had no prior application of BHC. 

The 82 commercial samples varied in size, method and degree of 
curing, and amount of weather damage. The distribution by variety 
was: Spanish, 14; Runner, 38; and Virginia Bunch, 30. About one- 
fifth (16) were reported as "untreated." Sixty-four were from fields 
reported as "treated" in the previous year, 1949 ; in a few cases the fields 
had also been treated in 1948 and 1947. One sample was reported as 
"treated" in 1948 only, and the remaining sample was from peanuts 
interplanted in 1950 with BHC-treated cotton. 

Soils. — Soil samples were taken from 39 of the fields from which 
peanut samples were obtained in 1950. 

1951 Samples 

Peanuts. — The nature of the samples collected in 1950 was such 
that flavor of the peanuts tested may have been affected by several 

3 Since the research reported in this publication was performed, a reorganization 
of the Department of Agriculture has changed the affiliations and names of the 
various cooperators. The units of the former Bureau of Entomology and Plant 
Quarantine, Bureau of Plant Industry, Soils, and Agricultural Engineering, and 
the Bureau of Human Nutrition and Home Economics concerned with these 
studies are now parts of the Entomology Research Branch, the Horticultural 
Crops Research Branch, and the Human Nutrition Research Branch, respectively, 
all of the Agricultural Research Service. The part of the former Production and 
Marketing Administration that cooperated in this work is now part of the Agri- 
cultural Marketing Service. 



FLAVOR AND BENZENE HEXACHLORIDE CONTENT OF PEANUTS 3 

variables that could not be experimentally controlled. For this reason 
the investigations were continued with collection and examination 
of samples grown in 1951, which included some lots of peanuts pro- 
duced with more rigid control of experimental variables. The 
latter consisted of 9 samples of Virginia Jumbo peanuts grown at the 
Tidewater Field Station, Holland, Va. Eight were from plots where 
cotton treated with standard 3-5-40 BHC dust, prepared from 13 
percent gamma grade of insecticide, had been grown the previous 
year, and the ninth was from a plot with a history of no prior exposure 
to BHC. The peanuts were field cured in stacks in the usual manner. 
Because the preceding cotton experiments were planned with other 
objectives than that of providing plot pretreatments for the 1951 
peanut studies, applications of insecticide to the cotton in 1950 
(3.8 to 5.1 pounds per acre of gamma BHC) were 2 to 3 times the 
rate of application recommended for practical control of cotton 
insects. 

Samples from 1 1 fields of commercial peanuts were also collected by 
the Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine in 1951. Eight were 
from fields where growers reported that cotton treated with standard 
3-5-40 BHC dust had been grown during one or both of the im- 
mediately preceding years, and 3 were from fields reported as pre- 
viously not exposed to the insecticide. These samples, all grown in 
South Carolina, consisted of 2 lots of Spanish and 9 of Virginia Bunch 
peanuts. 

Soils. — Soil samples were taken from the 9 plots on the Tidewater 
Field Station at the time the peanuts were harvested in the fall. 

1952 Samples 

Peanuts. — Because the trend in BHC insecticides is toward the 
use of grades containing higher concentrations of gamma isomer, 
experiments were set up to obtain information on the flavor and 
BHC content of peanut butter made from peanuts following cotton 
on which dust made from a BHC containing 36 percent of the gamma 
isomer was used. These experiments were started in May 1951 on 
plots not previously treated with BHC located on two farms near 
Florence, S. C, and at the Pee Dee Experiment Station. Cotton 
growing on 13 plots at the experiment station and at the 2 farms 
nearby (Hill farm and Turner farm) was treated with dust made from 
36 percent gamma BHC. Five additional plots were left as untreated 
controls. 

Analyses made by the Pennsylvania Salt Manufacturing Company 4 
and in the laboratories of the Bureau of Entomology and Plant 
Quarantine, Beltsville, Md., indicated that the gamma BHC content 
of the dust was approximately 3.0 percent, provided by 8.3 percent 
of mixed isomers containing 36 percent of gamma BHC. The ap- 
proximate isomeric composition of the technical BHC was gamma, 
36; alpha, 29; delta, 31; and epsilon, 4 percent. The insecticide was 
applied to the cotton plants at rates providing total gamma BHC 
dosages ranging from 1.3 to 5.0 pounds per acre. 

In the spring of 1952, the plots described above were planted to 
Virginia Runner peanuts. On April 18 before the peanuts were 

4 Gamma BHC, 3.08 percent; other BHC isomers, 5.25 percent; diluent, 91.67 
percent. 



4 CIRCULAR 95 2, U. S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 

planted, one-half of the Turner farm plot that had been exposed to 16 
applications of insecticide was treated with activated carbon at the 
rate of 200 pounds per acre. The peanuts, harvested in November 
1952 were field cured in stacks in the usual manner. 

Soils. — In the spring of 1952 prior to planting of peanuts, soil 
samples were obtained from 12 of the experimental plots, and at the 
time of harvesting all plots with the exception of the carbon treated 
plot, were sampled. 

METHODS 

Preparation of Samples 

Soils. — The preparation of analytical soil samples involved screen- 
ing, mixing, and subsampling of the crude soil samples. The samples 
were prepared by the Moorestown, N. J., laboratory of the Bureau 
of Entomolog} T and Plant Quarantine. 

Peanut Butter. — To insure uniform sampling of the peanuts for 
palatability testing and for chemical analyses, a portion of each 
sample was shelled, cleaned, roasted, and processed into peanut 
butter in a laboratory of the Bureau of Plant Industry, Soils, and 
Agricultural Engineering. Previous studies on peanut butter pre- 
pared in this laboratory had shown that it was not possible with the 
available equipment, to control the roasting process precisely. These 
uncontrolled variations in roast, affecting both color and flavor of 
the peanut butter, increased the difficulty of palatability evaluation. 
To reduce the effect of this variable, the peanuts used for control 
samples were roasted to light, medium, and dark shades to permit 
closer matching with the commercial samples during the palatability 
tests. All samples reserved for testing were stored at 38° F. until 
needed for scoring and were allowed to come to room temperature 
before being served to judges. 

Palatability Studies 

Using different sensory testing procedures, two independent sets 
of ratings of the 1950 and 1951 samples were made by workers in the 
Bureau of Human Nutrition and Home Economics (BHNHE) and 
the Bureau of Plant Industry, Soils, and Agricultural Engineering 
(BPISAE). These groups of workers are hereafter referred to as 
Panel A and Panel B, respectively. The 1952 samples from South 
Carolina were rated by Panel A only. 

RATINGS BY PANEL A 

Although all persons serving on Panel A had had some experience in 
judging foods exposed to BHC, they were given further training before 
they scored the 1950 samples. As many different brands of peanut 
butter as could be found on the local market were procured. The 
panel studied these samples plus additional samples prepared in the 
BPISAE laboratory, giving special attention to the relation between 
flavor and dark, medium, or light roasts. As a result of testing nu- 
merous samples and discussion of the relative flavor quality of each, 
panel members agreed on one sample as having the most natural 
peanut flavor; this was used as an overall reference sample with a 
score of 5. 

In scoring the experimental samples the presence or absence of 
off-flavor was rated by a panel of 10 judges using a 5-point. scale with 5 



FLAVOR AND BEXZEXE HEXACHLORIDE CONTEXT OF PEANUTS O 

indicating no off -flavor; 4, perceptible off-flavor; 3, slightly strong 
off -flavor; 2, moderately strong off-flavor; and 1, very strong off-flavor. 

A known reference sample was served at each testing session to 
provide a uniform basis for scoring. Experimental samples to be 
scored as "unknown" were matched with the reference as to variety 
and degree of roast (estimated by color and flavor), in order to limit 
the effect of these two variables on the comparisons. Three experi- 
mental samples selected at random, were scored at each testing 
session. Samples were scored at 3 -minute intervals to reduce fatigue 
and allow for detection of aftertaste which might affect scoring of sub- 
sequent samples. Judges were asked not to smoke or eat for 1 horn- 
after each session and to report any "delayed perception" of off- 
flavor if such occurred so that any samples with such off-flavor might 
be retested individually. No definite evidence of delayed effects was 
observed during these tests. In general, each commercial sample 
was scored once b}^ the panel. Controls were scored as unknowns as 
often as feasible, and the panel also rescored a limited number of 
samples that were scored low the first time they were rated. Scores 
for samples that were tested at a session in which the control was 
included as an unknown were analyzed separately. 

Prior to the palatibility evaluation of the 1951 samples, additional 
testing and training was given the judges. Available for this purpose 
was peanut .butter that had been prepared earlier from peanuts grown 
in soil treated with technical BHC at a dosage rate to give 1 pound 
of gamma isomer per acre. Analysis of this sample showed a tech- 
nical BHC content of approximately 7 p. p. m.; in preliminary tests 
even untrained judges rated it as having very strong off-flavors char- 
acteristic of BHC. Aliquots of this peanut butter were mixed with 
a natural flavored peanut butter to provide test samples containing 
approximately 3.5, 1.8, 0.9, 0.4, and 0.2 p. p. m. of BHC. Portions 
of these samples were served, 3 at each panel session, to 14 prospec- 
tive judges in a series of tests providing for decreasing amounts ol 
off-flavor as the threshold test progressed. For this training a 10- 
point rating scale was used with 10 indicating no off-flavor; 8, barely 
preceptible off -flavor; 6, perceptible off -flavor; 4, slightly strong off- 
flavor; and 2, strong off -flavor. 

The results of these training tests for prospective judges have been 
recorded in an earlier publication {12). It will be sufficient to note 
here that the tests provided for selection, from the 14 prospective 
judges, of 6 individuals plus 2 alternates to serve on the panel for 
judging the 1951 and 1952 samples. These selected judges all demon- 
strated ability to identify the samples of peanut butter containing 
1.8 p. p. m. of BHC and generally showed some indication of detec- 
tion at the 0.9-p. p. m. level. Definite off-flavors were not observed 
by any of the judges in the samples containing 0.4 and 0.2 p. p. m. 
of BHC. 

Panel tests on the 1951 and 1952 samples were carried out as in 
1950, the only difference being that ratings were made on the 10-point 
scale rather than on the 5 -point scale used in 1950. 

With the 1951 samples, separate palatability studies were made 
on the group of commercial samples and those from the Tidewater 
Experiment Station. For the latter, the design used was a twice- 
replicated balanced lattice with a randomized distribution of samples 
for testing by 6 judges on 4 days. The reference sample was pre- 



6 CIRCULAR 95 2, U. S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 

sented each day as a known sample and was included as a coded 
control at least once in the samples given to each judge. Each judge 
rated the flavor of 3 samples at each judging session. A variance 
analysis of the scores was made, mean scores being adjusted for block 
differences since removal of such differences contributed to the pre- 
cision of the results. 

For the palatability study of the 11 commercial samples and their 
control collected in 1951, a randomized design based on 3 replications 
of a 3 x 4 triple rectangular lattice was used. Six judges rated 
3 samples per day for 6 days, giving 9 scores per sample. 

The experimental designs for the palatability studies on the 1952 
samples were selected to provide for analysis of the data by the in- 
complete block method of Cochran and Cox (4) as well as by the 
ranked-pair method of Terry, Bradley, and Davis {15). Samples 
from each field block were evaluated separately because tests indi- 
cated heterogeneity among data for blocks from the same location. 
The design used with the samples from the experiment station 
provided 4 replications of scores per sample per judge; that used with 
samples from the Hill farm, 3 replications per sample per judge; and 
from the Turner farm, 4 replications of each sample in each of 3 scor- 
ing sessions. 

RATINGS BY PANEL B 

Two volunteer tasting panels of 20 persons each from the staff of 
BPISAE judged 72 samples of peanut butter from the 1950 peanut 
collections. The samples were rated in groups according to variety 
and geographic origin. For the rating of each variety, control 
samples of the same variety and roast were furnished. Each sample 
was tested by 20 persons, unless otherwise stated. Samples were 
presented to panel members in pans, 1 pair in the morning, 1 in the 
afternoon. Of each pair, 1 sample was a commercial sample and the 
other was a control, but the identity of neither was known to the 
testers. Panel members tested the 2 samples at random, with an 
interval of 15 to 20 minutes between samples to allow for detection 
of aftertaste. 

Panel members were instructed to rate the samples for flavor on a 
scale of 1 to 10; 10 was described as a perfect score, 5 very strong off- 
flavor, and 1 inedible. 

Separate analyses of variance were performed on the scores for 
each variety and geographic region of origin according to a paired 
plot design in order to avoid, insofar as feasible, differences associated 
with type or region. 

In the palatability tests on the 1951 samples each taster was 
given 3 samples of peanut butter at each test period. One of these 
samples (labeled "S") was identified to the tasters as having been 
made from nuts known to have been grown in soil free of any insecti- 
cide. Of the 2 samples given as unknowns, 1 was known to be iden- 
tical to "S" and the other was from peanuts which may or may not 
have been grown on insecticide-treated soil. These 3 kinds of 
samples were recorded as the "identified standard," the "unidentified 
standard," and the "treated sample." Each taster was asked to 
indicate which of the 2 unknowns was the unidentified standard. 
He was also asked to rate all 3 samples on the 10-point scale used for 
rating the 1950 samples. 

The scores given the samples were used in an analysis of variance. 



flavor and benzene hexachloride content of peanuts 7 

Determination of Benzene Hexachloride Content 

The soils and peanut butter samples were analyzed by the Schechter- 
Hornstein (14) colorimetric method for BHC as modified by Horn- 
stein (9). Briefly, peanut butter samples were extracted with meth- 
ylene chloride, the methylene chloride was evaporated on a steam 
bath, and glacial acetic acid was added to the residual peanut oil. 
Soil samples were extracted directly with acetic acid. The BHC in 
acetic acid was dechlorinated by the use of zinc and the benzene 
formed was nitrated to m-dinitrobenzene. This latter compound in 
the presence of methyl ethyl ketone and strong alkali gives a violet 
red color that can be measured photometrically. This analytical 
procedure is reliable to as low as 0.1 p. p. m. of BHC when applied 
to soils, and to about 0.2 p. p. m. when applied to peanuts (9). 



RESULTS 

Palatability Studies 

Average flavor scores for the individual samples of peanut butter 
prepared from the 1950 collections of commercial peanuts and their 
comparable controls are presented in tables 1,2, and 3. The results 

Table 1 .-^Spanish peanuts, 1950: Flavor scores and benzene hexa- 
chloride content of peanut butter made from peanuts grown in fields 
with and without history of benzene hexachloride-treated cotton crops 



Total insecti- 


BHC isomers 


State in 
which 

peanuts 
were 
grown 


Peanut butter, mediu 


m roast 


cide 1 applied 

to cotton 
(pounds per 


per acre 


Mean flavor score 


BHC 


acre) 


Total 


Gamma 


Panel A 2 


Panel B 3 


content 


210 


Pounds 
48 
25 
22 
20 
17 
14 
14 
14 
14 
11 
11 
10 
9 


Pounds 
6. 3 
3. 3 
2.9 
2.6 
2.2 
1. 8 
1. 8 
1. 8 
1. 8 
1. 4 
1. 4 
1. 3 
1. 2 




Georgia- 

___do 

___do 

___do 

___do 

___do 

___do 

___do 

_._do 

___do 

___do 

_._do 

_..do 

___do 

Texas 


4. 
4.4 
4. 9 
4. 4 
4.6 
4.6 
4. 5 
4.0 
4.4 
40 
40 
4 8 
4.2 
4.0 
47 


7.79 
7. 12* 

7. 14* 

8. 10 

8. 35 
7.95 
9.00 

* 9. 15* 
8.55 

9. 15 
8.30 
7.40 
7. 75 
8.20 


P. p. m. 
0. 09 


110 


. 13 


96 _ __ 


. 11 


85 


.06 


72_ 


.00 


60 


. 10 


60 

60 


.08 




60 





48 . -__ _ 


.08 


48 


.06 


45 


. 03 


40 


. 10 


0___ 





















1 3-5-40 dust applied in 1949. 

2 Each sample rated by 10 persons on a 5-point scale: 5, no off-flavor; 1, very- 
strong off-flavor. 

3 Each sample rated by 20 persons on a 10-point scale: 10, no off-flavor; 5 r 
very strong off-flavor; 1, inedible. 

4 This treated sample superior to control. 

*Score significantly (P=.05) different from control. 

318718—55 2 



8 CIRCULAR 9 5 2, U. S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 

provide no definite evidence that observed off -flavors can be attributed 
to the production of peanuts in rotation with BHC-treated cotton. 
Among the 65 treated commercial samples that followed BHC-treated 
cotton, Panel A scored only 4 significantly lower on flavor than their 
comparable controls, while 3 were scored higher. Separate analyses 
were made of scores from sessions in which the control was included 
as an unknown; for this reason differences between sample and control 
scores for some sample means within such groups were found to be 
statistically significant whereas comparable or even greater differences 
were not significant in the overall analysis. In the overall analysis, 
no untreated sample was scored significantly lower than its control 
and no significant correlations between palat ability scores and reported 
insecticide applications were observed. 

One of the lowest scoring samples (table 2) was interplanted in 1950 
with BHC-treated cotton and was therefore exposed to direct contact 
with the insecticide. The BHC content of this sample, 0.49 p. p. m., 
was almost four times as high as that of any of the other 1950 com- 
mercial samples. 

Trends in the results of the scoring by Panel B (tables 1, 2, 3) 
provide a picture generally comparable to that of Panel A. Of the 
treated commercial samples, 5 were scored significantly lower and 2 
higher than their controls. Two untreated samples were also scored 
significantly low but off-flavor in one of these was attributed to im- 
proper curing (table 3). Two of the 3 samples that followed cotton 
receiving the heaviest reported insecticide treatments (table 1) were 
scored significantlv low and these were among the 15 samples showing 
a BHC content of 0.10 to 0.13 p. p. m. 

Among the samples that were scored low on flavor, the 2 panels 
agreed on only 1 (table 3). This was also one of the samples having 
a relatively high BHC content (0.14 p. p. m.). Aside from the above 
noted samples, however, there was no apparent correlation between 
flavor scores and chemically determined BHC content of the 1950 
samples. 

A general picture of the results is provided by the scatter diagrams, 
figures 1 and 2. These figures show the differences between panel 
scores for the commercial samples and those for their comparable 
variety- controls. The distribution of score differences by Panel A 
(fig. 1) shows no apparent correlation between reported BHC dosages 
and panel scores. The number of scores for the treated commercial 
samples that fall above and below scores for the comparable control 
samples is approximately equal. A similar distribution of score 
differences is shown for the untreated commercial samples. The 
same general pattern is presented by Panel B scores (fig. 2). 

The only valid conclusion that may be derived from these data is 
that of the commercial samples the general average scores of both the 
"treated" and the "untreated" samples did not differ significantly 
from the average scores of the untreated controls from experiment 
station plots. The few observed instances of significant differences 
between single samples and their appropriate experiment station 
controls were not definitely correlated with dosage of BHC. In 
connection with the commercial samples it should be emphasized 
that: The information on insecticide treatments used for cotton 
crops was based on recollection of growers as to times, frequency, and 
quantities of application, rather than on written records; methods of 



FLAVOR AND BENZENE HEXACHLORIDE CONTENT OF PEANUTS 



9 



curing and handling were not standardized; and "treated," "un- 
treated/' and control samples were usually from different farms where 
soil and other conditions may have had variable effect on peanut 
quality. Because of these several uncontrolled variables, inconclusive 
results were considered possible when the tests were initiated. This 
risk was assumed because the importance of obtaining an early answer 



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Control 



50 



100 



150 



200 



250 



Pounds of 3-5-40 Dust Per Acre 
Figure 1. — Panel A: Differences in scores for off -flavor for peanut butter pre- 
pared from commercial and from experiment station control peanuts. 





























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Figure 2.- 



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•Panel B: Differences in scores for off -flavor for peanut butter pre- 



pared from commercial and from experiment station control peanuts. 



10 



CIRCULAR 9 5 2, U. S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 



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FLAVOR AND BENZENE HEXACHLORIDE CONTENT OF PEANUTS 13 



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CIRCULAR 9 5 2, IT. S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 



to > this problem seemed to make acceptance of that chance preferable 
to^ postponement for the minimum period of 2 years required to set 
up controlled cotton-peanut rotation experiments. 

Flavor scores for the 1951 commercial samples from South Carolina 
are presented in table 4. Panel A scored all and Panel B scored 4 
of the treated samples significantly lower than the control. Both 
panels scored 2 of the 3 untreated samples significantly low. In view 
of these low scores for 2 of the 3 untreated samples the results provide 
little basis for attributing the low scores given the treated commercial 
samples to growth of the peanuts in rotation with BHC-treated cotton. 
It may be noted also that the control sample was an exceptionaUy 
well-flavored peanut butter and was scored high by both panels. 

Table 4. — South Carolina, 1951: Flavor scores and benzene hexa- 
chloride content of peanut butter from commercial samples of peanuts 
that followed benzene hexachloride-treated cotton 

VIRGINIA BUNCH 



Total insecticide 1 
applied to cotton 
(pounds per acre) 



BHC isomers 
per acre 



Total Gamma 



Peanut butter 



Mean flavor score 



BHC 

content 



Panel A : Panel B 



110. 
80.. 
80.. 
72 3 
60 3 
60_. 
60_. 
0__. 
0__. 



Pounds 


Pounds 


25 


3. 3 


18 


2. 4 


18 


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17 


2. 2 


14 


1. 8 


14 


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14 


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2. 8* 
5.6 
8.0 

7. 5 
5.8 

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7. 1 
8.2 



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6. 2 



2 6 
7 
6 
6 
6 

2 6 



1 
7 
6 

9 
9 
4 
6. 8 



P.p. 
0. 





SPANISH 






70 5 




16 



2. 1 



7. 3 
5. 5 


2 6. 3 

6 5. 7 


0. 20 



VIRGINIA JUMBO 


Control 


! 10.0 


7. 6 






1 3-5-40 dust applied in 1950. 

2 Score significantly lower (P=.05) than control. 

3 Cotton on these plots also treated with 40 pounds per acre of dust in 1949. 

4 Only sample not scored significantly lower (P— .05) than control by Panel 

A~. 

5 Cotton on this plot also treated with 70 pounds per acre of dust in 1949. 

6 Score significantly lower (P=.01) than control. 

*Score significantly lower (P=.05) than other commercial samples. 



FLAVOR AND BENZENE HEXACHLORIDE CONTENT OF PEANUTS 15 

With one exception, there were no significant differences among 
scores given by Panel A to the different commercial samples. The 
score of 2.8 for one sample of peanut butter from Virginia Bunch 
peanuts that followed cotton treated in 1950 with 80 pounds per acre 
of BHC dust was significantly lower than scores for all other com- 
mercial samples. There were more instances where judges reported 
off -flavors described as characteristic of contamination by BHC in 
this sample than in any of the other samples. However, various 
comments, such as "sour/ 5 or "very objectionable off -flavors," suggest 
that factors in growing or curing other than BHC contamination 
may have been responsible for the extremely unpalatable flavor of 
the sample. 

Palatability scores on the 1951 experiment station samples from 
Holland, Va., are presented in table 5. Panel A rated 2 of the samples 
from peanuts that followed cotton receiving 3.8 pounds of gamma 
BHC per acre, and all of those from peanuts that followed cotton 
treated with 5.1 pounds per acre, as significantly off -flavored in com- 
parison with the control. While there is some overlapping of scores 
between treatments, the general mean scores of 8.1 and 7.1 for the 
samples following the low- and high-BHC cotton treatments, re- 
spectively, are both significantly lower than the score of 9.8 given 
the control sample, and also differ significantly from each other. 
The results indicate that in this instance definite off-flavors in peanut 
butter resulted from the growing of peanuts in soil on which BHC- 
treated cotton was grown the preceding year. 

It will be seen also that among the 1951 experiment station samples 
from Holland, Va., correlation of BHC content with cotton treatment 
is generally comparable with that shown by panel scores (table 5). 
Panel scores did not correlate perfectly, however, with the chemically 
determined BHC levels. The fact that the control sample was gen- 
erally scored 10, with a panel average of 9.8 out of a possible maximum 
of 10, adds confidence to an assumption of real detection of off -flavors 
in the samples from peanuts that followed BHC-treated cotton. This 
assumption finds further support in judges' descriptions of observed 
off -flavors. Among the 32 judgments on the samples from peanuts 
that followed cotton given the 3.8-pounds-per-acre treatment, there 
were 11 notations (35 percent of judgments) of off -flavors typical of 
BHC. Among the samples from peanuts that followed the more 
heavily treated cotton (5.1 pounds per acre), 18, or 56 percent, of the 
scores were accompanied by such descriptions. No typical BHC 
flavors were ascribed to the control samples. 

Panel B scores (table 5) show the same general tendency as those 
by Panel A, though agreement on low-scoring samples was not perfect. 

Mean flavor scores for the 1952 samples from South Carolina, which 
followed cotton treated with BHC containing 36 percent of gamma, 
are given in table 6 and those that are significantly low are designated. 
The ranked-pair analyses (p. 6) are not presented, but significant 
findings were the same for both this method and the analysis of 
variance. Results of the ranked-pair analyses also indicated that the 
judges were scoring consistently with each other. 

Only 1 of the 4 treated lots from the Pee Dee Experiment Station 
was significantly inferior to its control. The sample in plot B from a 
field receiving 2 pounds of the gamma isomer of BHC per acre was 
scored significantly lower than the samples from the untreated field 



CIP.CTLAE 9 52. V. 5, DEPARTMENT DP AGRICTLTTBE 



















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FLAVOR AND BENZENE HEXACHLORIDE CONTENT OF PEANUTS 17 









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IS dRCCLAR 9 52. U. S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICCLTURE 

and from a field receiving 4 r [rands ■:: the g amm a isomer. Since the 
comparable sample from plot A receiving 2 pounds per acre of gamma 
isomer was not significantly different from the other samples with 
which it was compared, it seems probable that the off -flavor found in 
the sample from plot B was due to factors other than the BHC 
treatment. The roast of this sample was probably one factor, since 
the most frequent comment of the judges in describing its flavor was 
that it was green or raw. This sample was a fighter roast than either 
of the other samples with which it was compared, a fact that makes 
flavor analysis of peanut butter very difficult and probably accounts. 
at least in part, for the low score of 6.2. 

Among the Hill farm samples the flavor scores, even when signifi- 
cantly low. indicate only slight of! -flavor and show no correlation with 
the dosage of insecticide to which soil was exposed or consistency 
among samples from replicate plots. In connection with such 
apparent inconsistencies, the possibility needs to be considered tha: 
soil residues of BHC. following a specific treatment of cotton with 
this insecticide, and the effect of such residues on the flavor of a fol- 
lowing crop of peanuts may vary with such factors as soil type, rain- 
fall, or other environmental conditions. In the samples from the 
Turner farm only barely perceptible ofT-fiavors were noted: there 
were no significant differences among these flavor scores. The sample 
from the plot treated with activated carbon did not differ signifi- 
cantly from the others. The general means of all flavor scores for 
each treatment also show no correlation with the quantities of insec- 
ticide to which soils were exposed. 

Bexzent Hexachloride Context 

Peanuts. — The analytically determined BHC content of some of 
the peanut butter samples has been noted in connection with the 
preceding discussion of palatability evaluations. With the exception 
of the sample that was interplanted with cotton and showed 0.49 
p. p. m. of BHC. the highest BHC content observed in the 1950 
samples was 0.14 p. p. m. and only 15 samples showed 0.10 p. p. m. 
or more of the insecticide ; tables 1.2.3 . With the noted exception. 
all of the determined concentrations were below the 0.2-p. p. m. 
limit of reliability of the analytical method when applied to peanuts. 
Within the limits of the method, therefore, no significant amounts of 
BHC were found in the 1950 peanut samples that followed BHC- 
treated cotton and the data evidence no relationship between insecti- 
cide residues in the peanuts and amounts of BHC applied on cotton 
that preceded them. 

The BHC content of the 1951 commercial samples (table 4' aver- 
_ I somewhat higher than in the 1950 samples. Of S samples that 
followed BHC-treated cotton, only 1 contained less than 0.10 p. p. m. 
of BHC while 5 showed from 0*20 to 0.27 p. p. m. In the 1951 
experiment station samples from Holland. Va., however. BHC was 
found in all S of the samples of peanuts that followed cotton treated 
with BHC conta ining 13 percent of gamma (table 5 . The quan- 
tities found con-elated generally with the cotton treatments and 
approached 1 p. p. m. in 3 of the 4 samples that followed cotton 
treated with insecticide dosages providing 5.1 pounds of the gamrna 
isomer per acre. 



FLAVOR AND BENZENE HEXACHLORIDE CONTENT OF PEANUTS 19 

Among the 1952 peanut samples, which followed cotton treated 
with BHC containing 36 percent of gamma at application rates pro- 
viding 1.3 to 5.0 pounds of gamma per acre, all determined BHC 
contents were under 0.2 p. p. m. (table 7). Within the limits of the 
analytical method, therefore, none of these samples contained signifi- 
cant amounts of BHC. 

Soils. — The highest observed BHC content of the soil samples 
examined in 1950 was 0.13 p. p. m. (table 3). In other samples 
analyzed, observed BHC contents of 0.10 p. p. m. or less were within 
the estimated limits of reliability of the analytical method when 
applied to soils. As with the peanuts, the BHC content of the soils 
snowed no regular correlation with reported applications of insecti- 
cide to cotton crops grown in the soils tested. 

Among all soil samples tested, highest concentrations of BHC were 
found in the 1951 samples from the Tidewater Field Station, Holland, 
Va. (table 5). Concentrations of BHC, ranging from 0.48 to 0.65 
p. p. m. in the soils treated with 3.8 pounds of gamma per acre and 
from 0.64 to 1.39 p. p. m. following the 5.1 pound applications were 
all weU above the 0.1 p. p. m. limit of reliability of the analytical 
method when applied to soils and were generally correlated with the 
amounts of insecticide ' applied. These, as well as the 1950 samples, 
were all from soils used for cotton treated with BHC containing 
13 percent of gamma. It was observed that the BHC content of 
the soils tended to be higher than that of the peanuts grown in the 
soils. 

All but one of the concentrations of BHC in the 1952 soil samples, 
where cotton treated with BHC containing 36 percent gamma had 
been grown, were at or below the 0.2 p. p. m. level of reliability of the 
analytical method (table 7). In this one case (Turner farm, eight 
applications, fall sampling) the amount found, 0.12 p. p. m., was of 
borderline significance, particularly since a sample collected from this 
plot in the spring showed only 0.05 p. p. m. of BHC. 

Averages of the BHC content of the peanut and soil samples from 
treated fields are shown below: 
Material sampled: 

1950: p - P- m - 

Peanuts, commercial 0. 07 

Soils, commercial fields . 04 

1951: 

Peanuts, commercial . 16 

f * 33 
Peanuts, Holland samples < 2 71 

f * 58 
Soils, Holland samples < 2' q\ 

1952: 

Peanuts, South Carolina samples .06 

Soils, South Carolina, spring .04 

Soils, South Carolina, fall . 05 

1 Cotton treated with 127 pounds of 3-5-40 dust; 3.8 pounds of gamma BHC 
per acre. 

2 Cotton treated with 171 pounds of 3-5-40 dust; 5.1 pounds of gamma BHC 
per acre. 



20 



CIRCULAR 952, U. S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 



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FLAVOR AND BENZENE HEXACHLORIDE CONTENT OF PEANUTS 21 

DISCUSSION 

It is recognized that such factors as soil type, climatic conditions 
during the growing and curing of peanuts, and methods and duration 
of curing may affect the flavor of peanuts. However, it was either 
impossible or not feasible to control these variables in relation to the 
peanut samples collected from commercial growers' fields in 1950 and 
1951. It is possible, therefore, that the effects of such variables on 
peanut quality may have obscured effects of soil residues of BHC on 
the flavor of these peanuts. In this connection, however, it may be 
noted that the BHC content of peanuts determined chemically gener- 
ally paralleled the results of the palat ability tests. Among those 
samples of peanuts collected in 1950 and 1951 from commercial fields 
and analyzed chemically, the BHC content was low and with few 
exceptions, for the most part hi the 1951 samples, was less than the 
0.2-p. p. m. level of reliability of the analytical method when applied 
to peanuts. Low or nonsignificant concentrations of BHC in peanuts 
were generally paralleled by similarly low or nonsignificant concentra- 
tions of the insecticide in soils. In these studies, therefore, ordinary 
application to cotton of BHC as 3-5-40 dust did not result in sig- 
nificant accumulations of BHC in soils on which the cotton was 
grown or in peanuts which followed the cotton, nor was flavor of the 
peanuts correlated with prior exposure to BHC of the soils in which 
they were grown. 

In contrast to the above findings, peanuts grown in 1951 at Hol- 
land, Va., in soils used the previous year for cotton that was treated 
with heavy dosages of BHC, did develop flavors characteristic of the 
insecticide and also accumulated determinable quantities of BHC. 
BHC was also recovered from soil samples from the treated plots in 
quantities ranging from 0.48 to 1.39 p. p. m. These results were 
obtained when peanuts followed cotton on experimental plots that 
received 3.8 to 5.1 pounds of gamma per acre derived from technical 
BHC containing 13 percent of gamma. Such treatments are 2 to 3 
times the recommended rate of application. In practice, however, 
application rates may vary considerably and in instances of exces- 
sive use or of unusual difficulty in obtaining pest control, farmers 
may apply quantities of technical BHC dust to cotton in a single 
season that provide 4 to 5 pounds of gamma per acre, or even more. 
Thus, while the experimental dosages that were applied in 1950 on 
the Holland, Va., cotton plots were much higher than recommended, 
such dosages may occur in practice. Also, as Boswell (2) has noted, 
this insecticide does show some tendency to persist and to accumulate 
in soils following exposure to repeated or heavj' dosages. It is pos- 
sible, therefore, that under some conditions normal applications of 
BHC insecticides to cotton for 2 or more } T ears could provide for 
sufficient accumulation of the insecticide in soils to adversely affect 
the flavor of peanuts or other food plants produced later in these soils. 

While the 1950 and 1951 studies point to the dosage of insecticide 
used on cotton as the major factor in determining accumulation and 
carryover in soil of sufficient quantities of BHC to result in off-flavors 
and chemically determinable quantities of the insecticide in peanuts 
that followed the cotton, they also suggest that other factors may 
have been involved. One of the samples (table 1) collected from a 
commercial field in 1950 followed cotton reportedly treated with 



22 CIRCULAR 952. U. S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 

210 pounds per acre of 3-5-40 dust (6.3 pounds of gamma BHC). 
Neither of the panels rated this sample as significantly off-flavored 
and its chemically determined BHC content of 0.09 p. p. m. is well 
below the estimated limit of reliability of the assay method. Two 
additional commercial samples (tables 1, 4) followed cotton treated 
with 110 pounds per acre of dust to provide applications of BHC 
(3.3 pounds of gamma per acre) approaching the 3.8 pounds of gamma 
used on one-half of the Holland plots in 1951. The chemically deter- 
mined BHC contents of these samples were at or below the level of 
reliability of the analytical method and results of. the palatibility 
tests were irregular and hence of questionable significance. In this 
connection, Fleming and Maines (6) studying DDT in soils noted that 
its persistence is modified by many factors other than method of 
application such as organic content and texture of soil, cultural prac- 
tices, and environmental conditions. They found DDT to be most 
persistent in sand, least in muck, comparable in different types of 
loam; in general decreased persistence correlated with increasing soil 
organic matter. Earlier studies by Chulski (3) indicated a similar 
relationship between soil type and persistence of BHC. 

It is possible that some of the variant findings of the studies re- 
ported here may be attributable to such differences in character of 
soil in which the peanuts were produced. Insofar as data are avail- 
able, however, all peanuts tested in this study were grown in soils 
that would be classified as sandy loams with the exception of the 1951 
samples from Holland, Va. The latter were grown in soils classified 
as Woodstown fine loamy sand. If, as reported for DDT by Fleming 
and Maines (6), BHC is also most persistent in sands, then the find- 
ing of significant quantities of BHC and associated off-flavors in the 
Holland samples may be due in part to this factor. It also seems 
possible, though the authors are not aware of confirming evidence, 
that BHC in soils might be reduced more rapidly than under normal 
conditions during seasons of heavy rainfall. Climatological records, 
however, do not indicate any wide deviations from normal rainfall 
over the areas involved during the years 1949 through 1951. 

A significant observation in the studies on the 1952 samples from 
South Carolina was that peanuts which followed cotton treated with 
BHC dust at rates providing up to 5 pounds of gamma per acre were 
not characterized by significant off-flavors nor did they contain 
significant quantities of the insecticide. Because of the high gamma 
content (36 percent) of the BHC used in these tests the heaviest 
dosage of 5 pounds of gamma isomer per acre deposited only 14 
pounds per acre of total isomers in the South Carolina tests. This 
compared with a total deposit of 39 pounds per acre to provide the 
same dosage of gamma from BHC containing 13 percent of gamma 
in the Holland tests, in which significant quantities of BHC were 
found in samples of both soils and peanuts and the latter were char- 
acterized by off-flavors typical of BHC. It is pertinent to note here 
that studies with other products have shown that the alpha, beta, 
and delta isomers of technical BHC may also contribute to off-flavor 
development, and have indicated that effects of the different isomers 
on flavor may vary with the product treated (5). 

Comparison of the results of the Holland and South Carolina tests 
indicates the flavor-tainting potentialities for peanuts of those isomers, 
other than the insecticidal gamma isomer, of technical grades of 



FLAVOR AND BENZENE HEXACHLORIDE CONTENT OF PEANUTS 23 

BHC and emphasize the value of using high gamma content prepara- 
tions on soils that may be subsequently used for this crop. In view 
of the numerous root crops which have been found to develop off- 
flavors when grown in soils contaminated with BHC, this consideration 
assumes added significance when such crops may be rotated with 
those that can be safely treated with BHC. As observed by Jameson 
and Peacock (10), for example, potatoes grown in soils treated with 
1 to 4 pounds of BHC per acre developed characteristic off-flavors 
up to 3 years later. The time required for soil residues to be reduced 
below the level causing off-flavor correlated with the quantity of 
BHC applied. BHC of high gamma content is now available at 
reasonable prices. Its use on soils that are likely to be used sub- 
sequently for crops that are subject to off-flavor development through 
contact with soils containing residues of this insecticide would appear 
to be economically feasible as well as advisable from the point of 
view of product quality. At current prices, for example, the differ- 
ence in cost between sufficient quantities of the 13- and 36-percent 
gamma grades of BHC to provide 3 pounds per acre of gamma 
would be only 30 cents per acre. 

Also favoring use of the high gamma grade of BHC is its lower 
content of the beta isomer (pp. 2, 3). 

With respect to chronic toxicity, striking differences in fat storage 
and in elimination of the several isomers of BHC have been reported. 
While the gamma and delta isomers are deposited in body fat at the 
same concentration and the alpha isomer at twice the dietary con- 
centration, the beta isomer is deposited at 10 times the dietary 
concentration. The alpha, gamma, and delta isomers are rapidly 
mobilized and eliminated in 2 to 4 weeks whereas the beta compound 
requires an estimated 3 to 6 months for complete removal from the 
body following cessation of exposure to the insecticide (1). 

In evaluating the results of the Holland, Va., and the South Caro- 
lina studies it is necessary to note that the experiments were not 
directly comparable even if the assumption is made that such factors 
as soil type and climatic conditions were without significant effect. 
In the South Carolina tests the insecticide formulation contained 
neither sulfur nor DDT, both of which were constituents of the 3-5-40 
dust used in the Holland, Va., tests. Currently, however, there is 
no evidence to indicate that either sulfur or DDT, in the quantities 
used, affects the flavor of peanuts, but it may be necessary to consider 
the possibility that one or both of these materials may potentiate 
the development of off-flavors by concurrently present soil residues 
of BHC. In this connection it may also be pertinent to note that 
other insecticides tested up to this time on peanuts have not signifi- 
cantly affected their flavor (7, 8). 

Some of the findings of this study emphasize one of the questions 
that have occurred frequently in this work: Is the off -flavor, observed 
in peanuts grown in BHC-contaminated soils due to BHC per se, to 
decomposition products of BHC, or possibly even to changes in the 
food product itself caused by physiological response of the plant to 
the chemical? Musty odors associated with BHC have been attrib- 
uted to overchlorinated materials such as heptachlorocyclohexanes and 
octochloroc3^clohexanes (16) and to polychlorocj^clohexenes derived 
by the removal of chlorine from the polychlorocyclohexanes (13). 
As noted earlier in describing the results of the peanut butter dilution 



24 CIRCULAR 952. U. S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 

tests (p. 5), the off -flavor in the peanut butter made from peanuts 
grown in BHC-treated soil and shown by chemical analysis to contain 
approximately 7 p. p. m. of BHC was regularly described as charac- 
teristic of BHC. If the dilution test did provide a true measure of 
taste threshold to BHC flavor in peanut butter of approximately 0.9 
p. p. m. for Panel A. then the lower quantities determinable chemically 
(table 5) would lead to the conclusion that the chemical determination 
of BHC is much more sensitive, at least for this product, and could 
therefore replace palatability tests. Here we see. however, that three 
of the samples from peanuts that followed BHC-treated cotton and 
were scored sig nif icantly lower than the control showed chemically 
determined BHC levels of 0.20. 0.45. and 0.50 p. p. m.. considerably 
lower than the estimated 0.9 p. p. m. associated with the indicated 
panel threshold level. These panel scores may, therefore, be evidence 
that the off-flavor is not entirely due to BHC per se. 

Some limited experiments carried out in these laboratories with 
BHC added to peanut butter show that flavor of the insecticide can 
be influenced by the carrier in which it is incorporated. A solution 
containing 300 p. p. m. of BHC in refined peanut oil was incorporated 
in a sample of peanut butter to provide for a BHC concentration of 
10 p. p. m. An equal quantity of BHC-free peanut oil was incorpo- 
rated in a second sample of the same peanut butter. When portions 
of these samples were submitted to the judging panel, no difference 
in flavor was observed but both were scored lower than a control 
sample of the same peanut butter with no added oil. To avoid the 
use of additional oil, which apparently lowered flavor scores, a portion 
of oil was removed by suction from another sample of the peanut 
butter. Enough technical BHC was dissolved in this oil to provide 
for approximately 15 p. p. m. of technical BHC hi the peanut butter 
when the oil solution and peanut butter were remixed. TVhen checked 
by the modified Schechter-Hornstein method, the concentration of 
BHC was determined as 13 p. p. m. Again, when served to the 
panel, there was no definite differentiation between this sample and 
appropriate controls containing no BHC. Similar results were ob- 
tained on panel evaluation of a peanut butter sample containing ap- 
proximately 15 p. p. m. of 1.2.4-trichlorobeiizene. a major degrada- 
tion product that might be expected from BHC. As shown earlier. 
even inexperienced judges readily detected off -flavors in peanut butter 
made from peanuts grown in BHC-treated soils and containing as 
little as 1.8 p. p. m. of BHC. These results indicate, therefore, that 
BHC absorbed from the soil by peanuts may not be present as a 
solution in the oil component of the peanuts. 

SUMMARY 

Studies were made by use of sensory methods and chemical analyses 
to determine whether the production of peanuts in soils previously 
exposed to benzene hexachloride (BHC) applied as dust to cotton 
crops resulted in accumulation of the insecticide in the peanuts or 
adversely affected their flavor. Soil samples were also taken to in- 
vestigate, by chemical analysis, possible relationships between residues 
of BHC in peanuts and in the soils in which they were grown. 

The peanut and soil samples tested made up two major groups with 
respect to production histories. One group consisted of peanuts 



FLAVOR AND BENZENE HEXACHLORIDE CONTENT OF PEANUTS 25 

grown during 1950 and 1951 in four of the principal cotton producing 
areas and collected from commercial growers' fields that had been 
previously planted to cotton which was treated with standard 3-5-40 
BHC dust, and of soil samples from some of the same fields. Re- 
ported applications of BHC dust to cotton that preceded the peanuts 
provided an average of approximately 14 pounds of total BHC 
isomers (1.8 pounds of gamma isomer) per acre but ranged from 2 to 
48 pounds per acre (0.3 to 6.3 pounds of gamma isomer). The second 
group of samples consisted of peanuts produced in 1951 and 1952 
under more rigidly controlled conditions on experimental plots that 
had been used the immediately preceding years for growing cotton 
treated with BHC dusts. Of the latter, the 1951 samples followed 
cotton that was treated with heavy applications of 3-5-40 cotton 
dust, prepared with technical BHC containing 13 percent of the 
gamma isomer at dosage rates providing 29 and 39 pounds of total 
BHC isomers (3.8 and 5.1 pounds of gamma isomer) per acre. The 
1952 samples from experimental plots in another location followed 
cotton treated with equally heavy dosages of gamma BHC (1.3 to 
5.0 pounds per acre) but prepared with a 36 percent gamma grade of 
BHC. The heaviest dosage among the latter treatments deposited 
only 14 pounds of total BHC isomers per acre. 

Among the samples of peanuts collected from commercial fields 
there were few observations of significant flavor defects and, when 
observed, off-flavors were not correlated with reported rates of appli- 
cation of BHC to preceding cotton crops. The chemically deter- 
mined BHC contents of both peanuts and soils analyzed were gener- 
ally too low to be considered of significance and, as with observed 
flavor defects, were not correlated with the quantities of insecticide 
applied to cotton that preceded the peanuts. 

Peanuts that followed cotton that had been treated on experimental 
plots with unusually heavy dosages (3.8 or 5.1 pounds of gamma per 
acre) from technical BHC of 13 percent gamma content were char- 
acterized by definite off-flavors, and chemical analyses showed sig- 
nificant quantities of BHC both in the peanuts and in the soils in which 
they grew. The intensity of off-flavor and the BHC content of 
peanuts and soils were correlated with the dosage of insecticide 
applied to preceding cotton crops. 

No significant association of off-flavors with insecticide treatment 
was observed in peanuts that followed cotton treated on experimental 
plots with 1.3 to 5.0 pounds of gamma per acre derived from a 36- 
percent gamma grade of BHC. Chemical analyses disclosed no sig- 
nificant quantities of BHC either in these peanuts or in the soils in 
which they were grown. 

LITERATURE CITED 

(1) American Medical Association, Committee on Pesticides. 

1951. toxic effects of technical benzene hexachloride and its 

principal isomers. Report to the Council on Pharmacy and 
Chemistry. Amer. Med. Assoc. Jour. 147: 571-574. 

(2) Boswell, V. R. 

1952. residues, soils, and plants. In Insects. U. S. Dept. Agr. 

Yearbook, pp. 284-297. 

(3) Chulski, K. 

1948. THE effect of benzene-hexachloride on some crops grown 
on various soil TYPES. Mich. Agr. Expt. Sta. Quart. Bui. 31: 
170-177. 



26 CIRCULAR 95 2, U. S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 

(4) Cochran, W. G. and Cox, G. M. 

1950. balanced incomplete blocks. In Experimental Designs. Ch. 

11, pp. 315-345. New York and London. 

(5) Dawson, E. H., Gilpin, G. L., Kirkpatrick, M. E., and Weigel, C. A. 

1953. flavor of selected vegetables grown in soil treated with 
isomers of benzene hexachloride. Agr. and Food Chem. 
1; 399—403. 

(6) Fleming, W. E., and Maines, W. W. 

1953. persistence of DDT in soils of the area INFESTED BY THE JAPANESE 
beetle. Jour. Econ. Ent. 46: 445-449. 

(7) Gilpin, G. L., Dawson, E. H., Geissenhainer, E. L., and Reynolds, H. 

1953. FLAVOR of peanuts and peanut products as affected by cer- 

tain insecticides used in growing peanut crops. Food 
Technol. 7: 132-135. 

(8) Redstrom, R. A., Reynolds, H., and Poos, F. W. 

1954. flavor of peanut butter as affected by aldrin, chlordane, 

dieldrin, heptachlor, and toxaphene used as insecticides' 
in growing peanuts. Agr. and Food Chem. 2: 778-780. 

(9) HORNSTEIN, I. 

1952. DETERMINATION OF TECHNICAL BENZENE HEXACHLORIDE IN PEANUTS 

and soils. Analvt. Chem. 24: 1036-1037. 

(10) Jameson, H. R., and Peacock, F. C. 

1953. TAINT IN POTATOES GROWN ON LAND TREATED WITH TECHNICAL 

7-BENZENE HEXACHLORIDE OR PURE "/-BENZENE HEXACHLORIDE. 

Jour. Sci. Food and Agr. 4: 102-104, illus. 

(11) Poos, F. W., Dobbins, T. N., Batten, E. T., and Boush, G. M. 

1951. TESTS WITH BENZENE HEXACHLORIDE FOR THE CONTROL OF INSECTS 

attacking peanuts, 1946-1949. U. S. Bur. Ent. Plant Quar. 
E-820, 16 pp. [Processed.] 

(12) Reynolds, H., Gilpin, G. L., and Hornstein, I. 

1953. PALATABILITY AND CHEMICAL STUDIES ON PEANUTS GROWN IN 
ROTATION WITH COTTON DUSTED WITH INSECTICIDES CONTAINING 

benzene hexachloride. Agr. and Food Chem. 1: 772-776. 

(13) RlEMSCHNEIDER, R. 

1953. POLYCHLORCYCLOHEXENE als geruchskomponenten techntscher 
hch-praparate. Anz. f. Schadlingsk. 26: 37-38. 

(14) Schechter, M. S., and Hornstein, I. 

1952. COLORIMETRIC DETERMINATION OF BENZENE HEXACHLORIDE. Alia- 

lyt. Chem. 24: 544-548, illus. 

(15) Terry, M. E., Bradley, R. A., and Davis, L. L. 

1952. NEW DESIGNS AND TECHNIQUES FOR ORGANOLEPTIC TESTING. Food 

Technol. 6: 250-254. 

(16) Wilson, J. K., and Choudhri, R. S. 

1948. THE EFFECT OF BENZENE HEXACHLORIDE ON SOIL ORGANISMS. 

Jour. Agr. Res. 77: 25-32. 



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